Natural gas well burst kills one injures three in Colorado

Natural gas well burst kills one injures three in Colorado by Keith Coffman, August 16, 2012, Reuters
A high-pressure burst of natural gas at a well operated by Canadian energy giant Encana Corporation in Colorado killed one man and injured three other workers on Wednesday, the company and local authorities said. The accident at the well in Platteville, Colorado, about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Denver, apparently resulted from an equipment failure, said Weld County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Tim Schwartz. “It appears to be an industrial accident and doesn’t look like anything suspicious,” he said, adding there was no explosion or fire. A 60-year-old worker was killed and three other workers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Schwartz said. The precise cause of the “high-pressure gas release” is under investigation, said Wendy Wiedenbeck, a Denver-based spokeswoman for Encana. … The fatal burst of natural gas occurred after the drilling of a horizontal gas well had just been completed and workers were in the process of putting the well into production, Wiedenbeck said. … The accident comes amid heightened scrutiny of the oil and gas industry sparked by accelerated onshore energy development in recent years coinciding with the advent of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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